Hibiscus-Rhubarb Swirl Ice Cream

This refreshingly tart no-churn ice cream is a pull-out-all-the-stops recipe for those times when you want to make a statement, yet it's actually simple to prepare. The ice cream base can be rather sweet from the sweetened condensed milk, but the springy pop of rhubarb and dried hibiscus flowers help to bring balance and dimension.

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Recipe

473g heavy cream

22g dried hibiscus flowers

182g rhubarb, diced (about 3 large stalks)

1 blood orange

100g honey

kosher salt

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

Method

Peel 2 long strips of blood orange zest with a peeler. 

Gently heat the heavy cream over medium-low heat (you will see tiny bubbles around the edge of the pan.) Once warmed through, add in the orange zest strips and the dried hibiscus flowers. Remove from the heat and stir occasionally until cooled, then remove the orange zest and discard. Allow this mixture to steep, covered, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. 

*This step can be done a few days in advance or the day of preparing the ice cream base.* In a small pot, combine the diced rhubarb, honey, and a pinch of salt. Using a reamer or citrus juicer, add the blood orange juice to the pot (the point of using the reamer here is to get some of the pulp as well as the juice) and cook over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until the rhubarb is completely softened. The mixture might seem stringy at first, but just be sure to stir it vigorously. Cool completely and chill until ready to use.

After 24 hours, give the hibiscus-infused cream a good stir to loosen it up. Using a rubber spatula, strain the cream through fine mesh strainer into the bowl of an electric mixer, pushing on the flowers extract as much of the cream as you can. 

Set up the electric mixer with the whisk attachment. Whip the hibiscus cream on medium-high speed to form stiff peaks. Gently fold in half of the sweetened condensed milk with the rubber spatula. Take care to mix well without deflating the whipped cream. Add the remaining sweetened condensed milk and continue to fold it into the ice cream base until very well combined. The sweetened condensed milk has a tendency to sink to the bottom, so just be sure to give it a good stir while you're pouring it into the pan.

Pour about 1/8th of the ice cream base into a standard loaf pan or another similar sized baking dish. Dot about 3 tablespoons of the rhubarb all over the surface of the ice cream. Cover with more ice cream base. Then, using a skewer or cake tester, draw a figure-8 pattern, dragging the rhubarb throughout the ice cream base. Continue alternating layers of rhubarb and ice cream base, placing the rhubarb in different spots than in the previous layer to evenly disperse the swirl. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. 

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